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Jepsen Calls for Reduction Of Price On Narcan

Mel Evans

Connecticut State Attorney General, George Jepsen, wants to know why the price of naloxone, the antidote for an overdose from opiates like heroin, is increasing so fast.

Jepsen said the price increase could have a dire effect on public health.

"The price of Naloxone has increased dramatically in a very short amount of time, and we’re looking for hard answers from the company as to why this could be justified," he said. "If the price continues to rise, it could see more restricted use at a time when we want to use it more often, not less often, so it’s hard answers that we want."  

This week Jepsen sent a letter to the head of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, which produces naloxone, to explain why the price has gone up since last year.  The price use to be about $20 per dose in 2007.  Now it is $40 to $50 per dose.  

Jepsen say the price increase is happening just as Connecticut is experiencing a surge in heroin abuse and has begun training its police officers to use naloxone as first responders.

According to Jepsen, the number of heroin related overdoses in the state has tripled in the last 4 years.  Last year 306 people died in Connecticut from heroin overdose.  

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.